Overview of Lamborghini Huracan that replacement for the Gallardo, Lamborghini’s most successful ever car, with over 14,000 sold since 2003. That gives the Huracan a suitably mountainous task, one that Lamborghini has chosen to tackle by playing against type and taking a safe option.
The Huracan is no radical reimagining of the modern supercar. There are no hybrid systems here, for instance. In fact what there is, is familiarity. The 5.2-litre V10 is carried over, albeit heavily reworked, and it’s still positioned in the middle of the car and drives all four wheels. Unless you opt for the latest entry-level LP580-2 model, which is rear drive only.
There’s a new seven speed dual-clutch gearbox and an all new chassis, partially constructed of carbon, that’s 50 per cent stiffer than the Gallardo’s. Is that enough to return Lambo’s ‘entry-level’ supercar to the top of the class above the brilliant Ferrari 488 and McLaren 650S?
What is it like on the road the Lamborghini Huracan? In a very un-Lambo manner, the first thing you notice is how well the Huracan rides, how well mannered it is. At a motorway lick the soundtrack is oddly anodyne, sounding busy not ballsy, while the suspension isolates bumps, thumps and staves off surface irregularities ably. Yes, a plush Lambo. All very comfortable and pleasant. All very unexpected.
Get it on a great piece of road and you uncover another side to its personality. The naturally aspirated V10 conjures music from its mechanics, and hurls itself forwards in a vicious lunge.
All the components feel well calibrated, making the Huracan an easy car to get to grips with. Traction is boundless (the torque split is 30:70, but 100 per cent can go through the rear if required), and although not as sharp as the Ferrari, or punchy as the McLaren, it’s convincing enough to sit at the top table.
And Layout, finish and space inside Lamborghini Huracan as the cabin is theatrical, dramatic and laden with both jet-inspired functionality and Audi-donated quality. There’s no central screen, instead all functions are dealt with on the main display behind the steering wheel.
There’s no traditional gearlever either, while the Anima button on the wheel allows you to toggle through the various Strada/Sport/Corsa options.
The driving position is good, the view out through the narrow window less so, but very emotive. It’s a Lambo – it shouldn’t be easy to see out of. You have to open the door to reverse a Miura; at least this has fancy sensors and cameras to help.
Running costs and reliability Lamborghini Huracan may be under Audi’s wing, but that’s not to say costs have been brought in line. This is still a mighty costly car to buy and run over £200,000 with a few options added and fuel economy likely to hover in the late teens at best.
Probably the least of your worries if you’re minted enough to buy one new. A lack of Porsche 911-like practicality is also unlikely to be of great concern; there’s not much showboating value to be had in Tesco’s car park.
The new Lamborghini Huracán Performante. Or, what happens when you lock a Huracán in a cage, feed it raw meat and poke it with a pointy stick. You know the drill: like the Gallardo Superleggera before it, this is the harder, faster, stickier and more track-focused version of Lambo’s baby supercar designed to monster race tracks, but retain a whiff of usability on public roads. If Lambo had a GT3 badge, this would be wearing it.
Yes, we have driven it already, but that was an early prototype wrapped in black and white sticky tape and we were limited to a few laps of the track. This is the finished article, and while we have the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari (Lamborghini prefer to call it Imola for some reason?) at our disposal once again, we’ll also be braving the Italian highways.
The Performante debuts the Aerodinamica Lamborghini Attiva (ALA) system – active aero to you or I, but this is far cleverer than anything we’ve seen before. Jutting front spoiler and peacocking rear wing are present and correct, but both feature high and low downforce modes and, at the rear, the ability to vector downforce from one side to the other, according to your cornering requirements.
A motor implanted in the front spoiler actuates two flaps. With ALA off they remain closed, delivering maximum downforce at the front axle. With ALA active they can open reducing drag and underbody pressure. Meanwhile, the forged carbon fibre wing and two upright supports are actually hollow. Airboxes at the base of these uprights, also with motorised flaps, are fed by air rushing over the engine cover.
Flaps closed and the rear wing acts as you’d expect, producing maximum downforce (750 per cent more than a normal Huracan at the rear axle). Flaps open and air rushes into the spoiler and out through a narrow channel on its lower surface, stalling the airflow and dramatically reducing drag and therefore downforce.
The really smart bit though is that one side can be open while the other is shut, increasing downforce only on the inside rear wheel during cornering and helping to rotate the car in. Under hard braking you can have maximum downforce, on the straights the wing effectively disappears. Genius.